The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building, was formally inaugurated in London at the beginning of July.
The event marked the physical completion of the exterior of the building. Developed by Sellar on behalf of LBQ Limited, The Shard’s slender elegance brings a remarkable new dynamic to London’s flourishing skyline.
Standing 310m (1,016ft) tall, the building’s 95 storeys will become a ‘vertical town’ comprising office space, residences, restaurants and the 18 floor Shangri-La Hotel. The building will house the UK’s highest swimming pool on the 52nd floor and the capital’s highest public viewing gallery. The striking vistas afforded from The Shard will provide 360 degree views of London stretching over 40 miles, when the viewing gallery officially opens to the public on 1 February 2013.
Arup has been responsible for designing the building services that have been integral to delivering Renzo Piano’s vision for this slender high rise building. Arup’s innovative designs for the mechanical, electrical, public health (including specialist lighting and IT systems) and fire engineering services were crucial in ensuring the building’s functionality within its iconic form and complex geometry.
“When people look up at the Shard, they see a clear, light, fully-glazed building that tapers elegantly to the top. This creates huge engineering challenges from an environmental perspective. Combined with the state-of-the-art fire engineering concepts, we’ve had to design a number of pioneering technical solutions to realise this stunning new addition to the skyline.”
— David Healy, Associate Director and Arup’s team leader
The Shard is the highly visible landmark at the heart of London Bridge Quarter, a 2 million square feet gross mixed-use development which, once complete, will create more than 12,000 jobs. The development is central to the urban regeneration of Southwark, and benefits from its location above one of the Capital’s key transport hubs, London Bridge Station. A new bus station and train station concourse, linked by an elegant central plaza, also forms part of the wider development.
“The Shard is more than just an amazing feat of engineering, it is a towering illustration of London’s determination to beat the recession and spur economic growth. This iconic, sparkling new addition to the capital's skyline will act as a huge commercial magnet, pulling in scores of new businesses and offering vital employment opportunities for thousands of people.”
— The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson
Internal fit-out works are continuing, and the majority of the Shard is expected to open to the public during 2013.